Victoria state allowed Sikh students to carry ‘kirpans"
Victoria, Australia, Dec. 06, 2007
Australia's Victorian State parliamentary committee has given
the green light to carry small kirpan- a small, curved ornamental
steel dagger to school by sikh students for religious reasons.
But this plan or move has outrage principals and teachers. They
had concerns about students carrying the kirpan - which is hidden
under the school uniform
It took one year for this dicision to Victorian parliament and
it ruled against making school uniforms mandatory. It is also
recommended that the decision remain with individual schools.
The committee also called for schools to include hats and address
sun protection in their dress codes.
The committee has also allowed for Muslim students to wear hijabs
or veils in the state’s classrooms.
Last year in June 2006:
The head of Victorian Association of State Secondary School Principals,
Brian Burgess said:
- Kirpans should not be allowed in schools.
- It is potentially very dangerous and should not be brought
- If it was misused, it could hurt kids. And it may not be the
students that bring it to school but others who know about it
and misuse it.
- Other weapons were not allowed on school grounds and the kirpan
should not be the exception.
Kerpal Singh Marne, president of Victorian Sikh Association
- The kirpan was one of five articles of faith baptised Sikhs
were to carry at all times.
- It was not considered a weapon and describe it as "a
blunt version of a scout knife".
Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria president Gurdarshan Singh
- A minority of Sikh children were baptised and carried the
kirpan for religious, not violent, reasons.
- He or she is taught to respect people of all faiths, therefore
there is no reason for any concern,
The Victorian Multicultural Commission wants baptised Sikh students
to have the right to carry the knives -- up to 15cm long.
Commission chairman George Lekakis said the dagger, a kirpan,
was an important article of faith. Some children wore them safely